PlayStation Plus PS5 games 2021 ranked - Dexerto
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PlayStation Plus PS5 games 2021 ranked

Published: 13/Dec/2021 20:35 Updated: 20/Dec/2021 10:14

by Andrew Highton

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PS Plus subscribers were treated to another year of free games in 2021, in particular, PS5 gamers. That being said, here’s every free PS5 game on PS Plus in 2021 ranked from worst to best.

At the end of the day, your PS Plus membership is paying for the right to play your favorite multiplayer games online. Free digital downloads of great games are merely a bonus perk of the membership in Sony’s eyes.

Nevertheless, PlayStation owners are still treated to some excellent games, and 2021 was no different. From innovative puzzle games to chaotic, destruction-based racing games, PS5 owners have seen it all. Whilst most PS Plus games can be played on PS4 and PS5, we’re ranking the ones purely selected and singled out for the PS5. So here they are, 2021’s PS Plus games from worst to best.

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PS Plus games ranked from worst to best in 2021

12. Godfall: Challenger Edition – December 2021 PS Plus Game

godfall players fighting enemies
Counterplay Games
Even for a free game players feel short-changed.

Godfall was supposed to be a gigantic AAA, day one release for the PS5, but it didn’t fare well critically. Outside of its outstanding visuals, Godfall was a very ordinary game that didn’t particularly excel at anything.

However, for December 2021, it was announced that players could get Godfall for free, presumably with a year’s worth of updates and content. Sadly, this wasn’t the case. Instead, players got Godfall: Challenger Edition, a severely stripped-back version of the original that encourages players to then buy the omitted story mode. The transparent effort was seen through by gamers and has proved to be very unpopular.

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11. Destruction All-Stars – February 2021 PS Plus Game

cars crashing into each other in destruction all-stars
Luci games limited
Destruction All-Stars needed a bit more content on launch.

A flashy game that exemplifies the philosophy of style over substance, Destruction AllStars looked to shake up the arcade, combat racing genre by allowing players to exit the vehicle, find new ones, and pull off exuberant tricks in the process.

But it sacrificed this for repetitive game modes and an overall lack of imagination to keep players engaged. It offers solo content, but it was quite threadbare and felt like a basic tutorial for the main portion of the game – multiplayer. It’s isn’t the best game in the world, but it can be fun with friends.

10. Oddworld: Soulstorm – April 2021 PS Plus Game

abe using flamethrower in oddworld soulstorm
Oddworld Inhabitants
It retains the feel of old-school Abe games.

It’s never a bad thing to see Abe, a chanting, farting, Murkodon that does his best to escape the clutches of peril and free his people. Abe’s Odyssey and Abe’s Exodus were successful puzzle games on the first PlayStation console, and then the series went on a weird adventure for the next couple of decades.

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Soulstorm was a return to classic Abe gameplay, but a bunch of problems plagued the game on release. Its repetitive gameplay is great for long-time fans but will put off newcomers to the franchise. It lacks the spark and originality of the PS1 games but did well as a free game on PS Plus.

9. Hunter’s Arena: Legends – August 2021 PS Plus Game

Player standing still in hunter's arena legends
Mantisco
Fights in Hunter’s Arena Legends feel satisfying.

A condensed PVE battle royale with magical creatures and warriors is a zany but interesting concept on paper.

On one hand, it felt like a fresh battle royale concept that players weren’t accustomed to. On the flip side, this was also to the game’s detriment as it wasn’t advanced enough to be a true competitor to the leading BR titles in the world. Its idea felt stronger than its execution and had a sense of needing more time to feel exceptional.

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But, if you’re tired of Fortnite and Warzone, then Hunter’s Arena: Legends might be worth a go.

8. Maquette – March 2021 PS Plus Game

in-game screenshot of maquette level
Graceful Decay
Its art-style and color palette is a joy to look at.

Anyone who’s played Superliminal will recognize the manipulation mechanics in Maquette. At its core, it’s a creative puzzle game that requires the player to think outside the box, and typically change the size of the box too!

There’s a lot of satisfaction to be had with Maquette, but its potential was stunted by some obvious issues. Technical problems like bugs and glitches were abundant at launch, and some of the puzzles were frustrating trial and error experiences that sometimes disregarded logic. But if you do want to test your lateral thinking and puzzle-solving abilities, then Maquette will provide this.

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7. Maneater – January 2021 PS Plus Game

shark eating a person in maneater
Tripwire Interactive
If you’ve ever wanted to be a hungry shark, Maneater will provide that craving.

In a year of ‘out there’ PS Plus games, Maneater might just be the most adventurous of the lot.

Taking control of a shark, you must avenge your mother’s death by evolving your shark to become the ultimate shark. Unfortunately, this required lot of grinding of tedious objectives such as eating and attacking other fish. You can also attack humans as well to spice things up.

It’s a game that can suffer from the novelty wearing off too quickly, but it’s got enough bite to keep you going and see the story through to its conclusion. An asymmetrical multiplayer mode might have bolstered its repertoire of gameplay and extended its life.

6. Operation Tango – June 2021 PS Plus Game

Operation tango laser game
Clever Plays
When Operation Tango is good, it’s good.

We need more games like Operation Tango in the world. Yes, it clearly borrowed its concept from 2015’s wildly entertaining Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes – but so what?

The idea is easy-to-understand, two players each have a defined role – the Spy and the Spy’s eyes – and have to complete some covert operations. The Spy will have to act on the instructions passed down by the ‘instructee’, making for some heated discussions and situations.

It’s a fun party game that didn’t always click. Some of the mini-games are frustrating and inconsistent, it could only be played online (so no couch co-op), and it did have some software problems too.

5. A Plague Tale: Innocence – July 2021 PS Plus Game

main characters surrounded by rats
Asobo Studio
A Plague Tale: Innocence manages to make rats terrifying.

Possibly the darkest (literally) and least upbeat title on this list, A Plague Tale: Innocence was nominated for numerous awards thanks to its heartwarming story.

It borrows from many modern-day horror games with players looking to avoid conflict at all costs. Not only that, but the fear of being chewed up by rats is a constant rush of anxiety and dread. Puzzles, stealth, and survival are all the order of the day for Amicia and her younger brother Hugo. It’s a solid AAA single-player title and did well enough to warrant a sequel.

4. Knockout City/First Class Trouble – November 2021 PS Plus Games

knockout dodgeball throwing and a scene from first class trouble
Velan Studios, Invisible Walls
Multiplayer dodgeball and Among Us-style sleuthing is a great mix of variety.

We’ve tied November’s games together as it’s the only month really that provided a double offering of proper PS5 games to players. So it gets plaudits for that alone, and also gets marks for offering two really solid games.

Knockout City is a well-received dodgeball-esque title that pits teams against one another. Games take place across a variety of weird and wacky arenas, and it provided hours of back-and-forth sporting action.

Whereas First Class Trouble carried on the multiplayer theme for November with a familiar-feeling game. Players work together to figure out who’s trustworthy and identify the wrongdoer amongst them. It sounded a bit sus to us, but players lapped up the newer elements it brought to the genre.

3. Hell Let Loose – October 2021 PS Plus Game

player aiming M1 Garand in Hell Let Loose
Black Matter Pty Ltd
This is a hardcore FPS game in its purest form.

Whatever you think of Hell Let Loose’s brutally realistic interpretation of war, there’s no denying its desire to make you learn. This was not a game designed for Call of Duty or even Battlefield players, Hell Let Loose is stern and harsh.

Matches can last an eternity, maps are huge, and tactics, strategy, and communication are simply non-negotiable. If you could get used to the game’s steep learning curve, then there’s an authentic FPS game here waiting for you.

2. Wreckfest – May 2021 PS Plus Game

multiple crashes in wreckfest
Bugbear Entertainment
Wreckfest is a game that warrants constant crashing for once.

Wreckfest takes hints of Motorstorm, Destruction Derby, and Burnout to create one super-duper carnage-filled experience.

You’ll be racing, taking part in intense 1v1 duels, and straight-up wrecking foes in demolition derby events. The tracks are designed for collisions and instill a sense of trepidation. After all, you could be one fatal crash away from having your race participation terminated. With franchises such as Gran Turismo, Forza, and F1 out there, a game like Wreckfest can fall by the wayside.

1. Overcooked: All You Can Eat – September 2021 PS Plus Game

players fighting meatball boss in overcooked
Team 17
Team 17 cooked up something really special with the Overcooked games.

Our top pick for 2021 goes to one of the most perfect displays of local co-op you are ever likely to see. Team 17 managed to take the concept of two players cooking and turn it into something special and unique.

Overcooked’s premise is simple and the first few levels teach you about the basics of each food to prepare. Then introduce some chaotic elements like moving platforms, and eventually mix all these ingredients together to see what you’ve learned. You’ll condemn your friend or significant other for leaving fries to burn or accidentally yeeting a burger patty into the bin.

‘All You Can Eat’ comes with every level from the first two games, as well as the DLC. It’s a sumptuous package of deliciousness, and anyone who owns it should play it.